This cookbook has a copyright of 2008. I got this book from Amazon.com. I have not cooked from this before.
I probably would not have bought this book if it wasn't for the Weekend Cookbook Challenge. This months challenge number 34 was "Diner Food". Aha, I thought, breakfast potatoes, pancakes, burgers...I started perusing my recipe books looking for something that fit the bill. Then I saw that this cookbook had just come out and figured it was as good an excuse to buy a new cookbook as any I'd find. I do like Guy Fieri and Mr. L and I even watch the show every now and then (we don't record it, we watch if it just happens to be on when the TV is).
If you are looking for a basic cookbook, this isn't it. I'm thinking this is more of a travel/reference book that includes recipes. If you are looking for a specific recipe or diner featured on the show, be careful. Not everything from his series is included in the book. There is usually only one recipe from each place featured and it might not be the "secret" or show stopping dish that you saw on TV.
The book has a few pages at the front that explain the concept, talk about the car used on the show and give photos of the crew that worked with Guy behind the scenes (nice that he featured those unsung heroes we usually never see or read about). There is a list of restaurants at the back of the book which has addresses for those featured in the book and all the other restaurants that were on the show.
The book is divided into geographical regions: Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, South, Midwest, West and Southwest. There are about 11 places featured for each region except West and Southwest which features 21. There are a ton of black and white photos throughout the book but they are rarely of the featured recipes...most are of the diner, the folks working at the diner and of Guy.
Each restaurant featured has a bit of the background of the restaurant and some information on the folks that run it along with a recipe. The recipes are basic diner foods with a twist (usually what makes the place so famous)...pancakes, burgers, starters (like crab cakes or quesadillas), chilis, soups, ribs, potato salads. There are only three desserts featured.
As mentioned, the gist of this book to me is like a travel guide. If you happen to love going to diners all over the country, this would be a great book to take along. The recipes themselves? At first I didn't think that I'd want to try many of them but after reading about some of the diners, the book gives you a bit of a push to maybe make some of these dishes.
I was also surprised to realize I've actually been to several of the places listed. I have been going to The Original Falafel's Drive-In in San Jose for at least 25 years. I absolutely love their falafel sandwiches. Alas, neither my mom nor Mr. L is fond of them so I don't go as much as I used to (it was close to one of the dot.com places I worked at and we'd go all the time for lunch). I've also been to Taylor's Automatic Refresher in St. Helena a few times. I love their 50's style milkshakes. Since my in-laws are in St. Helena you'd think we'd stop at Taylors more often but the lines are soooooo long that we usually just keep going when we drive by.